Socialist Worker

Solidarity can win - Spread the strikes

Lindsey dispute is a fight for us all. Oil bosses sack more than 600 workers for organising action. Thousands walk out of construction sites in support

Issue No. 2157

Thousands of construction workers have walked out of work and taken illegal unofficial strike action. The wildcat strikes follow the Total oil multinational’s sacking of over 600 workers at the Lindsey refinery site in Lincolnshire.

The solidarity strikes across Britain have terrified the employers who previously tried to present a hard face.

On Tuesday Total bosses suddenly announced that they were “actively encouraging” talks with the sacked workers – having insisted there could be no talks.

The fight in construction is a crucial battle for every trade unionist.

The employers cannot be allowed to sack workers for going on strike. They must not be allowed to break one of the best organised groups in the country.

That would give the green light to every boss to go on the rampage – sacking even more workers, cutting wages and increasing our hours.

Workers did not wait for the go-ahead from their union leaders to strike, knowing that the officials would not dare to break the anti-union laws. The workers used pickets, appeals for solidarity and mass meetings to get nationwide walkouts.

The construction workers’ solidarity has been magnificent – but we also need the rest of the workers’ movement to swing in behind the struggle at Lindsey.

Tom, from the Fiddlers Ferry power station site in Cheshire, came to Lindsey in solidarity with strikers. He said, “The bosses have had it their own way for too long. The unions need to wake up and start standing up for themselves. Our fight can be the chance for that.”

Since this is a national attack, we need a national response. We need to shut down every site, every power station and every refinery around the country in support.

Militant action has already scored significant victories so far this year at Visteon, Prisme and Linamar.

Now the bosses have escalated – so our side has to escalate further. They want to use the recession to attack workers. Let’s hit the multinationals where it hurts – in their profits.

Step up the action across the country:

  • Collect money for the strikers and take it to the protests
  • Join the pickets – take a delegation from your workplace or college
  • Strike to close down construction, power stations and oil refineries
  • Push your union leaders to back the strikers

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